By C.J. Bunce
Several stories have been reported across blogs and UK journals over the past few weeks about Matt Smith and Karen Gillan soon wrapping up their roles as the Doctor and his companion, Amy Pond. So let’s wade through what appears to be fact and what appears to be rumor.
First of all, it will be a sad day when Matt Smith and Karen Gillan are replaced. I tried watching Doctor Who when Christopher Eccleston became a Doctor and then when David Tennant became the next Doctor. And neither hooked me into how fun this series could be, after years of giving the show a try through several changes in Doctors. But Matt Smith’s youthful energy and Karen Gillan’s beautiful Scot look and comic timing made the series the most enjoyable around, and caused me to go back and finally dig into the series with the two prior Doctors. And made me a fan.
But the beauty of Doctor Who is the fact that the Doctor regenerates into new people–so the show can go on for generations, as long as new writers can continue to write exciting stories. I overheard a kid in a local comic store who must have been no older than 13 say “you always remember your first Doctor” and it made me laugh. He’s probably right.
So what news is true? The producers of Doctor Who have reported on the official Doctor Who website that the next actress to play the companion to replace Karen Gillan is 25-year-old actress Jenna-Louise Coleman from Blackpool.
Writer and executive producer Steven Moffat had reported this past Christmas that the Ponds (Amy and hubby Rory) would be leaving. The website makes clear that Coleman will replace Gillan after one more season with Amy and Rory in the story. Coleman has had roles on British TV and a small role last year in Captain America: The First Avenger.
The website suggests that the new companion will accompany Matt Smith’s eleventh doctor for 14 episodes in 2013, the 50th anniversary of the series on British TV. Here is the sneak preview at the new season coming soon to BBC One and BBC America, and HEY!–note that it features a cool cyborg, right out of the movie Westworld:
So that’s the next companion story. But what about the next Doctor?
The British tabloid the Daily Express, known for sharing rumors, this week claims an insider has disclosed that Matt Smith’s replacement will be the first woman Doctor of the series. And one of the front runners (again, per the reported rumor) may be a very cool choice, the new Irene Adler in the third season of the Sherlock series, also produced by Doctor Who’s Steven Moffat. Adler is portrayed by British actress Lara Pulver. Pulver was a regular on BBC’s Robin Hood series as Isabella, Erin Watts on MI-5, and is currently Claudine Crane on True Blood. Although this has aleady aired in the UK, here is a preview for U.S. viewers of Pulver as Adler in the new Sherlock (and ignore the reference to Pulver as “naked”–it’s all innuendo with a lot of clever filming):
What is clear from the above clip is that if Pulver can hold her own opposite both Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes (soon to star in the next Star Trek and The Hobbit films) and Martin Freeman’s Dr. John Watson (starring this year in The Hobbit), there is no doubt she would make a great, sassy and smart 12th Doctor in the Doctor Who franchise. If we’re going to lose Matt Smith–my vote for the best Doctor of all–why not try something really new?
So… new companion? True. New Doctor? Nothing confirmed to report yet.
I don’t want to lose Matt, ever! He’s the best doctor I’ve watched! D:
I just read on another website that Matt Smith will probably not leave for at least 2-3 yrs. I don’t think they will have a female doctor. My bet is that Doctor Who fans are made up largely of women. We want a male Doctor Who. A female companion is o.k. but it doesn’t work out for them to be romantically involved. I’d be very surprised if it happened and more so if it worked out. It’s a big gamble.
Can’t wait to see Matt Smith go. I don’t want to see a female doctor, I’m not sexist but to me the doctor is male and should stay that way. I’d like to see an all-new cast and someone else other than Moffat in charge. I’d like to see a more mature actor who can appeal to all ages instead of just kids and teeny-boppers, I would also like to see some more interesting companions other than dipsy little girls trying to act smart. Moreover I’d like to see actors who will not be dazzled by the bright lights of the USA with a bit of maturity to them and who can commit long-term to the project. I would really, really like to see them take some of that ‘corny’-ness out of it.
I am a fan but I think that the way Doctor Who is going at the moment, with series split in two and the crappy problems it has that people like myself will just tune out. I’m almost at the stage where I’m thinking it could be time to retire it again.